And he who insures this to me—oh, craven I were not to love him!
Nay, rather the fish of the sea shall vacate the water they swim in,
The stag quit his bountiful grove to graze in the ether above him.
While folk antipodean rove along with their children and women!
Meliboeus (suddenly recalling his
But we who are exiled must go; and whither—ah, whither—God knoweth!
Some into those regions of snow or of desert where Death reigneth only;
Some off to the country of Crete, where rapid Oaxes down floweth.
And desperate others retreat to Britain, the bleak isle and lonely.
Dear land of my birth! shall I see the horde of invaders oppress thee?
Shall the wealth that outspringeth from thee by the hand of the
alien be squandered?
Dear cottage wherein I was born! shall another in conquest possess thee—
Another demolish in scorn the fields and the groves where I’ve
My flock! never more shall you graze on that furze-covered hillside
Gone, gone are the halcyon days when my reed piped defiance to sorrow!
Nevermore in the vine-covered grot shall I sing of the loved ones that
Let yesterday’s peace be forgot in dread of the stormy to-morrow!
But rest you this night with me here; my bed—we will share it together,
As soon as you’ve tasted my cheer, my apples and chestnuts and cheeses;
The evening a’ready is nigh—the shadows creep over the heather,
And the smoke is rocked up to the sky to the lullaby song of the
HORACE TO MAECENAS.
How breaks my heart to hear you say
You feel the shadows fall about you!
The gods forefend
That fate, O friend!
I would not, I could not live without you!
You gone, what would become of me,
Your shadow, O beloved Maecenas?
We’ve shared the mirth—
And sweets of earth—
Let’s share the pangs of death between us!
I should not dread Chinaera’s breath
Nor any threat of ghost infernal;
Nor fear nor pain
Should part us twain—
For so have willed the powers eternal.
No false allegiance have I sworn,
And, whatsoever fate betide you,
Mine be the part
To cheer your heart—
With loving song to fare beside you!
Love snatched you from the claws of death
And gave you to the grateful city;
The falling tree
That threatened me
Did Fannus turn aside in pity;
With horoscopes so wondrous like,
Why question that we twain shall wander,
As in this land,
So, hand in hand,
Into the life that waiteth yonder?